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Future


Navigating toward the best of all possible futures. Follow along as Singularity Hub discusses the future and latest trends in futurology.

The Moral Case for Lightning: A Global Private Payment Network

The other day, I went to buy dog food at my local pet shop. I bought a large bag of dog food and some treats for my dog that claimed to be able to...

Why Companies and Armies Are Hiring Science Fiction Writers

Are you a science fiction writer? Do you have command of the French language? If you can answer yes to both questions, a new job opportunity may be just the thing for you. The recently...

What If We Visualized Humanity’s Future in Millennia Instead of Centuries?

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s a classic job interview question, designed to probe your level of ambition and aspiration. And it probes about as far ahead as many of us...

Five Ways Buildings of the Future Will Use Biotech to Become Living Things

What if our homes were alive? I don’t mean smart homes with the disembodied voice of Alexa deciding the setting for your living room spotlights. I mean actually alive—growing, living, breathing, and even reproducing....

Are Robots Coming for Our Jobs? Careful, It’s a Trick Question

The robots are coming, and they’ll probably take your job when they get here. Oh wait—have you heard that recently? As recently as, say, yesterday? In the news, or from a coworker, or in a...

A Layer of ‘Aerogel’ Could Make Mars Habitable and Even Enable Life to Develop There

Transforming the red planet to support life has long been a dream of science fiction. Mars is now too cold to support life. Its atmosphere is also too thin to protect any living organisms...

The Pentagon’s New Laser-Based Tool Uses Your Heartbeat to Track You

The government’s hefty arsenal of surveillance tools just welcomed a powerful new member. Rather than monitoring an external device—a bug or a smartphone—or even the exterior features of your face, the new tech aims...

Alphabet Releases Its Master Plan for Toronto’s New Smart City

Ever dreamed of living in a giant experiment? If so, Toronto may be the city for you. Sidewalk Labs has released blueprints for its proposed waterfront smart city and, depending who you ask, it’s...

Facebook Claims Libra Offers Economic Empowerment to Billions—an Economist Is Skeptical

Facebook is joining the cryptocurrency craze. Should we be concerned? The social network site on June 18 said it’s launching a new cryptocurrency called Libra with the help of 27 partners, including MasterCard, Visa, ebay,...

Inching Towards Abundant Water: New Progress in Desalination Tech

In early 2018, Cape Town, South Africa came dangerously close to being the world’s first major city to run out of water. People lined up for blocks to collect spring water. Stores sold out...

As Cars Become Increasingly Driverless, People Are Already Seeking Analogue Motoring Experiences

According to those in the industry, and researchers too, driverless cars will totally revolutionize the way we think about individual transport. They will change the way we work and rest. They could herald the...

5 Blockchain Breakthroughs Coming in the Next 5 Years

In almost every industry you can think of, blockchain is poised to cut out middlemen, dramatically improve transparency, and multiply the efficiency of countless transactions worldwide. While most well-known for its application in cryptocurrencies, blockchain...

Less Like Us: An Alternate Theory of Artificial General Intelligence

The question of whether an artificial general intelligence will be developed in the future—and, if so, when it might arrive—is controversial. One (very uncertain) estimate suggests 2070 might be the earliest we could expect...

The Futuristic Tech Disrupting Real Estate and Construction

In the wake of the housing market collapse of 2008, one entrepreneur decided to dive right into the failing real estate industry. But this time, he didn’t buy any real estate to begin with....

Coming of Age in the Age of AI: The First Fully Digital Generation

The first generation to grow up entirely in the 21st century will never remember a time before smartphones or smart assistants. They will likely be the first children to ride in self-driving cars, as...

12 Ways Big Tech Can Take Big Action on Climate Change

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have invested $1 billion in Breakthrough Energy to fund next-generation solutions to tackle climate. But there is a huge risk that any successful innovation will only reach the market...

Forget the Anthropocene: We’ve Entered the Synthetic Age

One fact about our time is becoming increasingly well-known. No matter how far you travel, no matter in which direction you point, there is nowhere on Earth that remains free from the traces of...

5G Is Here. What Does That Mean for Exponential Tech?

5G, hailed as the future of connectivity, is now a reality. Over the last months, the first 5G networks have been rolled out in South Korea and the US. While initial impressions are mixed,...

The Challenge of Abundance: Boredom, Meaning, and the Struggle of Mental Freedom

As technology continues to progress, the possibility of an abundant future seems more likely. Artificial intelligence is expected to drive down the cost of labor, infrastructure, and transport. Alternative energy systems are reducing the...

AI Is About to Completely Change the Face of Entertainment

Twenty years ago, entertainment was dominated by a handful of producers and monolithic broadcasters, a near-impossible market to break into. Today, the industry is almost entirely dematerialized, while storytellers and storytelling mediums explode in number....

The Tangled Web of Turning Spider Silk Into a Super Material

Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes of all time. It’s a bit surprising given that one of the more common phobias is arachnophobia—a debilitating fear of spiders. Perhaps more fantastical is that young...

5 Big Breakthroughs to Anticipate in 3D Printing

Convergence is accelerating disruption. Exponential technologies are colliding into each other, reinventing products, services, and industries. Over the course of my next five blogs, I’m going to summarize key insights from my annual CEO Summit called Abundance360 that...

In the Future, Everyone Might Use Quantum Computers

Computers were once considered high-end technology, only accessible to scientists and trained professionals. But there was a seismic shift in the history of computing during the second half of the 1970s. It wasn’t just...

7 Non-Obvious Trends Shaping the Future

When you think of trends that might be shaping the future, the first things that come to mind probably have something to do with technology: Robots taking over jobs. Artificial intelligence advancing and proliferating....

SETI Is Making a New ‘Mixtape for Aliens’, and You Can Contribute

For centuries, people have looked up at the sky and wondered whether we’re alone in the universe. Science fiction and popular media have imagined various ways humans might encounter and communicate with life from...

Imagining the Smart Cities of 2050

Tomorrow’s cities are reshaping almost every industry imaginable, and birthing those we’ve never heard of. Riding an explosion of sensors, megacity AI ‘brains', high-speed networks, new materials and breakthrough green solutions, cities are quickly becoming...

The Smart Cities of the Future Are Already Taking Off

By 2040, about two-thirds of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa. Already, 1,000...

Why Should We Listen to Scientists?

There’s a game young children like to play when they’re just beginning to learn how to interact with the world, talk to others, and indulge their natural curiosity: it’s called the “Why?” game. Take...

Purposeful Evolution: Creating an Ethical, Prosperous Future

More often than not, we fall into the trap of trying to predict and anticipate the future, forgetting that the future is up to us to envision and create. In the words of Buckminster...

Programming Self-Driving Cars Makes People Less Selfish

Self-driving cars are just around the corner, but working out the rules that should govern them is proving tricky. Should they mimic often self-interested human decision making, or be programmed to consider the greater...

Can the Sustainable Development Goals Be Measured by Satellite?

In 2015 the UN established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be met by 2030. From universal access to clean water and education to gender equality and strong institutions, achieving the SDGs would mean...

Black Mirror’s ‘Bandersnatch’ Takes Viewers on a Wild Interactive Ride

When was the last time you watched a movie where you could control the plot? Bandersnatch is the first interactive film in the sci fi anthology series Black Mirror. Written by series creator Charlie Brooker...

The Verge’s ‘Better Worlds’ Sci Fi Series Launches Today

When you picture what the world will look like in 10, 20, or 50 years, what comes to mind? Most people probably envision a scenario that’s drastically positive or negative—a utopia or, more likely,...

The Milestones of Human Progress We Reached in 2018

When you look back at 2018, do you see a good or a bad year? Chances are, your perception of the year involves fixating on all the global and personal challenges it brought. In...

Nvidia’s Fake Faces Are a Masterpiece—But Have Deeper Implications

‘Don’t believe everything you see on the internet’ is pretty standard advice, but it’s getting harder than ever to distinguish the real from the fake. A new algorithm from Nvidia could muddy the waters...

Eating, Hacked: When Tech Took Over Food

In 2018, Uber and Google logged all our visits to restaurants. Doordash, Just Eat, and Deliveroo could predict what food we were going to order tomorrow. Amazon and Alibaba could anticipate how many yogurts...

Saving the Seas: New Technologies to Protect the Ocean

The ocean covers more than 70 percent of our planet’s surface. The Pacific alone is more than 60 million square miles. And yet, technologists are often focused on their home turf, populating roads with...

Whale-Watching from Space: Why Satellites Are Monitoring Wildlife

A new study of whales shows that advances in satellite imagery and related technologies mean we can now recognize specific features of animals all the way from space. It is the latest in a...

The Promise—and Complications—of Domestic Robots

Every year, for just a few days in a major city, a small team of roboticists get to live the dream: ordering around their own personal robot butlers. In carefully-constructed replicas of a restaurant...

Britain Is Developing an AI-Powered Predictive Policing System

The tantalizing prospect of predicting crime before it happens has got law enforcement agencies excited about AI. Most efforts so far have focused on forecasting where and when crime will happen, but now British...

Inspired by Sci-Fi, an Airplane With No Moving Parts and a Blue Ionic Glow

Since their invention more than 100 years ago, airplanes have been moved through the air by the spinning surfaces of propellers or turbines. But watching science fiction movies like the Star Wars, Star Trek,...

Digital Authoritarianism Is Rising. Here’s What That Means

The internet has long been touted as a force for freedom that can topple dictatorships around the world. But according to a new report on digital freedom, authoritarian forces are clawing back control and...

It’s Time For an Airport Security Tech Upgrade

We’re in the midst of one of the busiest weeks of the year for air travel, with 30.6 million passengers expected to fly on US airlines in the days leading up to and following...

Follow the Data? Investigative Journalism in the Age of Algorithms

You probably have a picture of a typical investigative journalist in your head. Dogged, persistent, he digs through paper trails by day and talks to secret sources in abandoned parking lots by night. After...

The Fascinating, Creepy New Research in Human Hibernation for Space Travel

No interstellar travel movie is complete without hibernators. From Prometheus to Passengers, we’ve watched protagonists awaken in hibernation pods, rebooting their fragile physiology from a prolonged state of suspended animation—a violent process that usually...

Our Voting System Is Hackable. Here’s How to Secure It

The November 6, 2018 midterm elections are being widely regarded as a referendum on President Trump, but they will also serve another, less obvious purpose. The integrity of our election infrastructure is being tested....

NASA Wants to Send Humans to Venus. Here’s Why That’s a Brilliant Idea

Popular science fiction of the early 20th century depicted Venus as some kind of wonderland of pleasantly warm temperatures, forests, swamps and even dinosaurs. In 1950, the Hayden Planetarium at the American Natural History...

Will Tech Make Insurance Obsolete in the Future?

We profit from it, we fear it, and we find it impossibly hard to quantify: risk. While not the sexiest of industries, insurance can be a life-saving protector, pooling everyone’s premiums to safeguard against some of...

Could Tech Make Government As We Know It Irrelevant?

Governments are one of the last strongholds of an undigitized, linear sector of humanity, and they are falling behind fast. Apart from their struggle to keep up with private sector digitization, federal governments are...

The Rise of Dataism: A Threat to Freedom or a Scientific Revolution?

What would happen if we made all of our data public—everything from wearables monitoring our biometrics, all the way to smartphones monitoring our location, our social media activity, and even our internet search history? Would...

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